Oxen: A friendly starter kit
What is Oxen?
New to Oxen? You’ve come to the right place. Think of this guide as the starter-kit to our fully decentralised privacy ecosystem. This is a more up-to-date and in-depth version of the WTF is Oxen article we released last year (bit of content spring-cleaning, am I right?).
But, before we dive into the tech, what’s the idea behind Oxen? To us, Oxen is more than just technology — it’s about privacy, security, and using tech to create a better world for everyone.
It’s pretty straight forward, right? It's wrong to spy on people, especially when it comes to super personal stuff like how we communicate and our personal finances. Unfortunately, most big tech companies and government bodies don't think this way (really bad) and make big bucks selling and ripping your personal information (really really bad). So we took the fight to them, and in the effort to fight this data-harvesting social norm — and that’s what Oxen really is. We’re reshaping the approach to privacy. We’re protecting your privacy. And we’re building some badass tech along the way. We power cutting-edge privacy technology using our decentralised Oxen Service Node Network. Thanks to the power of our community-driven decentralised server infrastructure, we’re putting privacy back into your hands.
But who are we, really? Well, our team here at Oxen is a collection of the most forward-thinking and privacy-passionate individuals in the tech space. Much like Oxen itself — our team is an ecosystem of outward thinkers, powerful developers, creative designers, and digital innovators. Oxen has been going strong for nearly 5 years now — and our team is one of the most experienced in the business. Much like our platform our team is growing alongside our projects as we change landscape of privacy tech.
The OXEN Token
OXEN is a fully private, anonymous cryptocurrency which is at the heart of our privacy ecosystem. Originally forked from Monero, OXEN is completely fungible, secured by checkpointing, and it’s private too — thanks to ring signatures. Our blockchain is safeguarded using Proof of Stake, meaning people can stake their OXEN to help protect the network and earn OXEN rewards. Our staked service nodes (similar to masternodes) secure the blockchain, and power the unique synergy of our privacy network. Staking to a node rewards the user with freshly minted OXEN for their hard work. This means that our token creates both a powerful incentive for people to run a service node; and an economic security layer for the network. We love the fact that it’s our users who make our network stronger (because ultimately people should be in full control of the tech they use).
The Oxen Network
What’s this synergy we keep talking about?
Our network is made up of nearly 2,000 service nodes — they’re provide the decentralised infrastructure that makes all of our tech possible. These nodes operate as the backbone of our privacy ecosystem — securing, decentralising and powering current and future Oxen apps.
Thanks to the Oxen blockchain and token, we’ve got the horsepower of a massive decentralised network to play with. Using our service nodes, we’re able to power our digital privacy apps to return the power and control of your data, well, back to you. Our service nodes are absolute workhorses, and they’re capable of pretty much anything. They can provide secure, private, encrypted storage. They can route data at high speeds. They can co-operate and communicate without any central authority telling them what to do. Through our network we’ve already created a fully realised (and very secure) private messaging app (Session) and given people private and anonymous access to the internet (Lokinet) — and who knows what will be next. We’re creating an underlying network of privacy — never before realised in the digital world.
Our Session messaging app is the perfect representation of what Oxen privacy tech can achieve. Session takes the functionality of an everyday messaging driver whilst offering peace of mind through a truly private, secure, and anonymous technical design. Your data is encrypted, your traffic is onion-routed, and your metadata is safe. Using our decentralised service nodes, Session is able to keep the user completely anonymous — protecting you from data collection whilst securing your identity. A fully free and open-source software (FOSS), Session is private, secure and accessible. Our messages are delivered using our service node system, which means means Session has no central point of failure — it always stays online. We respect your privacy — and we’ve carefully designed a system where absolutely nobody — not even us — has the capacity to collect or store personal data. So whilst other messaging platforms find it cool to abuse your metadata —we disagree— and thus Session was born.
Lokinet is an onion-router that uses our fast and powerful service node network as relays. Lokinet supports web browsing, onion-routed real-time voice communications, and other applications. You may ask what can you do with Lokinet? Well, what can you do with the internet? Imagine if the internet was private, anonymous, and encrypted by default. With no restrictions on what data you can send or where it goes (whilst knowing you and your data is fully protected), all packets are equal. You can play games. You can video call your family. You can write a blog (just like this one). Much Like Oxen as a whole, the potential application of Lokinet grows everyday, as our users realise that digital privacy has a place in our daily lives. The limits of Lokinet are completely untapped.
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